The Death Penalty Should Be Abolished: An Unfair Treatment of Convicts

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Martin Luther King once said, “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars,”(King and Harding, 2010). Essentially, his philosophy was that violence is not the answer and there can always be different methods to get around it. He believed all life mattered and all life was important. His entire life was spent on spreading awareness for peace and equality for all people. Furthermore, it demonstrated how important he saw human life as it created a large wave into the community and even the world at the time. Similarly, I believe the death penalty should be abolished from all countries as no individual should be given the right to decide if a person should live or die. Additionally, by implementing the death penalty it takes away the ability and potential for one to change for the better. It also raises the murder rate in certain states and can actually kill innocent people. Therefore, the death penalty is a major flaw in the justice system and creates inequality in the world.

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The death penalty was abolished from the Canadian court in 1976 due to a free vote (“Capital punishment in Canada”). Canada had the correct mindset when abolishing capital punishment and I believe all countries should get rid of the death penalty. I don't think that one man should be able to decide the fate of another. As the famous Mahatma Gandhi once said: “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. This is very relevant here due to the fact that we live in a democratic society and when the government chooses to kill someone then it is as if all the people of the country killed that person. There is also the chance that we may actually kill an innocent person. According to around 151 people alone were released from death row after being exonerated from having been wrongfully convicted since 1973 (“Death penalty and innocence”). This illustrates that so many people could actually have been wrongfully committed of a crime and sentenced to death and can continue to happen till this day without any knowledge it is happening. Countless innocent lives could have been lost just from the death penalty. We have no right to end someone's life because we did not give them that life so it is not ours to take.

“A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members”(Warren, 2019) is yet another great quote from Mahatma Gandhi. This can be seen as if a country uses the death penalty it is considered to be the worst. If we were to try and rehabilitate these people, teach them, help them and bring them on to the right path that would be better than wasting a life that still has potential to do good. We can never judge someone and to end their life when we do not know what potential they still carry to do well. A person can do a horrible act but can still change and do something for the greater good that would impact the world far more than a regular person could ever impact the world with good. The quote “You miss a hundred percent of the shots you never take”(Brown) by Wayne Gretzky fits perfectly. If you don't try to rehabilitate these people and just plan on ending their life you will undoubtedly have no chance of any good to come out from them. Furthermore, one of the main reasons the death penalty has stayed in some countries was to scare andy potential criminals and reduce murder rates. However, a study was done from 1990 to 2016 and it showed the murder rate in death penalty states vs murder rates in non-death penalty states ('Deterrence: States Without The Death Penalty). Surprisingly enough the results came out to show that states without the death penalty actually had lower murder rates than the states that did have the death penalty. This illustrated that having the death penalty in a justice system does not necessarily make the place safer but shown to actually do the exact opposite. If we actually removed the death penalty completely from all over the world we will have a safer society and always have the chance to make these people better from their wrongs and create an overall better world to live in.

In conclusion, capital punishment has been known in the past as a very severe and dark way to end one's life through the justice system. There are so many faults in the death penalty such as countless innocent people are put on death row leaving their lives at risk, not giving people another chance to become someone better and taking a life away when it doesn't belong to you as well as actually shown to higher the murder rates in states that kept the death penalty. These are just a few reasons why I believe that capital punishment is a major flaw in the justice system and needs to be removed from all over the world.  

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